Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 25 (ANI): The recent tours of the Indian women's hockey team to Argentina and Germany have been a big step towards fine-tuning their game ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games, feels experienced goalkeeper Savita.
"Not having played competitive matches in over a year, we were not sure how we would do against top teams like Argentina and Germany. We had worked a lot on our fitness in the past year and also played a lot of matches amongst each other as well as the junior men's team, but it was only when we played against Argentina did we realise where we really stand in our tactical performance and areas that need improvement ahead of the Olympics," said Savita as per an official Hockey India release.
The captain feels that the two tours were also important in terms of providing exposure to some of the young players in the team, who needed to understand the tempo required to play the top teams in the world.
"Quite a few youngsters got a chance to play in these two tours and this was very important as they would understand and learn the temperament and the level required to do well against such top teams. We were also able to try different combinations during the tours and I feel all this will certainly help in the days leading up to the Olympics," she said.
With the Tokyo Olympics Games less than four months away, Savita says there is a lot of excitement among the members of the core group. "Every player in the core group is very excitement and are giving their 100 per cent in every session. We have a strong pool of players and each one is very competitive and will be gunning for a place in the final team for the Olympics."
For now, during the ongoing national coaching camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility in Bengaluru, the core group has been vying to improve their overall game and have also been focused on their fitness and conditioning.
"Fitness has played a major role in our improvement so far and if we have to do well in Tokyo, fitness will play a crucial role considering the weather conditions over there. We are currently also working on creating more scoring chances and improving our defence. We are leaving no stone unturned in our preparations," said Savita. (ANI)